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Adcock’s Snow Hill art studio gets makeover

(Sept. 10, 2015) After a brief renovation, Jim Adcock’s art studio in Snow Hill is back open for business.
Also known as the historic John Blair House, a former bed and breakfast, the home was built in 1835.
Today the space serves as both a gallery and a workspace for Adcock, a painter, printmaker and longtime editorial cartoon contributor to the Gazette.
A graduate from the Maryland Institute of Art and former art teacher in Baltimore County, Adcock moved to the Eastern Shore 25 years ago, looking for a change of scenery, as he puts it.
For a while, he veered off into advertising and publishing, launching the then Ocean Pines Gazette in 1998. In 2005 he sold the paper to current publisher Elaine Brady, but stayed on to do the popular editorial cartoons that still appear weekly.
“Think about how many cartoons that is,” he said. “I was thinking about doing a book, but it’s just overwhelming.”
For inspiration on the weekly panels, Adcock said he reads all the local papers – as well as the New York Times.
“I look for a subject that’s trending that might be funny if I did something with it,” he said.
He describes his fine art work as “between realism and impressionism,” and said he often works from his own photographs.
“I like painting local subjects and I like painting architecture,” he said. “I don’t like painting something somebody gave me an old photograph of. ‘ This is an old photograph of my father’s house – could you paint from the photograph?’ That doesn’t interest me.”
Adcock said he used to paint en plein air, or outdoors on location, but now prefers the trappings and air conditioning of his studio.
“In the past, I’ve been involved with [plein air competitions], but I like the comfort of my studio,” he said. “I’m convinced, really, if the impressionists had cameras and air conditioning they wouldn’t be sitting out there in a field. It’s hot out there.”
He’s often used Ocean City and Berlin as subjects in his paintings, but said his current focus is Snow Hill and Salisbury.
Chincoteague, he added, is on the list.
Adcock purchased the John Blair House in 2009, turning the kitchen into a studio and workspace, and this year converting the living room into a gallery space, complete with comfortable chairs and soft music, that’s now open to the public.
At the least, he said, the change should be pleasing to people who partake in Snow Hill’s Arts on the River First Fridays art stroll.
“It didn’t take a lot of work actually,” he said. “I had to remove some furniture and replace it, and rehang some paintings. For this First Friday the refreshments and the food will be in this room rather than on the studio side,” he said,
Adcock said traffic is light in the summer, although a few customers do trickle in from the nearby River House Inn bed and breakfast.
Outside his own space, Adcock’s work is available at Snapdragon and the Hallmark News Center in Ocean City, the Dorchester Center for the Arts in Cambridge, and Sisters and Sea la Vie in Berlin.
The gallery, located at 106 East Green Street in Snow Hill, is open Thursday-Saturday, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and during First Fridays through the end of the year.
For more information, or to contact Adcock about commission work, call 410-726-2440, visit or